I wish you were here with me. Sat on the patio. There is a wooden table which I’ve slowly taken over: notes, drawings of mushrooms, a mug holding watercolour brushes, a mismatch of cameras, and a cup of coffee hotter than what I would normally fancy.
From where I sit, I can see the logs Karl brought from the little shelter down in the garden on the same wheelbarrow we used to collect the hay that his father – Svante – cut on the day we arrived. They’re neatly piled and possibly enough to keep the fire going for a good week.
There is two pairs of rain boots – my new favourite, as they will take me anywhere.
And then, there is the forest. All around us.
This morning, we saw the same hare I fell in love with yesterday. Hopefully, he’ll stick around here a little longer. Svante told me he probably had his eyes on the apple tree that stands right in the middle of the garden.
But secretly, I think we’ve become some sort of wild friends.
Yes, right now, I wish you were here with me. Listening to the sound of the forest after a rainstorm.
It’s, perhaps, the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. The lightest raindrops hitting the moss. The cracking branches. The birds’ songs, and the happy merry-go-round of bumblebees. The wind going through soaked leaves.
The house is quiet. Aside from an old timer ticking seconds like others tick boxes.
You see, I have a gluten-free chocolate cake in the oven – hopefully cold enough by the time the boys will come back from their fishing expedition. The kind where coffee gets boiled over a bonfire and knee-high neoprene boots make you belong to the river. The kind where, when Karl will be here, he’ll smell of burning wood and will have too many stories to share.
And just like the house smelled wonderful yesterday as I was baking kanelbullar. It now smells of chocolate. And rain.
Now a few hours later, I went to pick – tiny – hallon [raspberries] by the pond. And all the times Karl told me to check for worms inside the berries finally made sense.
I cut myself a thick slice of the still-warm cake, fudgy around the rim and slighty gooey in the centre. And with a handful of my rather small bounty and a tall glass of filmjölk, it was just as delicious as I had hoped for.
Gluten-free chocolate fondant cake
You could make this cake with ground almonds only, but I couldn’t resist to try the gluten-free oat flour I found at the supermarket a few days ago.
The process is very simple. Not unlike a classic fondant cake.
The eggs and sugar get whisked together for a few minutes, until the sugar has almost dissolved. Then the melted chocolate and butter get folded in. And finally the flours. A quick trip in the oven; and voilà!
Gluten-free chocolate fondant cake
200 g 70% dark chocolate
250 g unsalted butter
250 g caster sugar
50 g ground almonds
40 g GF self-raising oat flour
8 g sea salt
Preheat the oven to 180°C, and generously butter a 26cm cake tin.
In a heatproof bowl, melt the chocolate and butter; either in a microwave or over a pan of simmering water. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar for around 4 minutes, or until fluffy and almost doubled in size. You don’t want to overdo it, it’s just a matter of dissolving the sugar.
Fold in the chocolate mixture, mixing well. And finally add the ground almonds, oat flour and salt. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 24-28 minutes, until barely jiggling in the very centre of the cake.
Allow to cool down completely before slicing. Or scoop while warm, like I did.